Examples Of Public Health Personal Statements

The women in public health can really move mountains. Here are some of the women we admire in this field.

Helen Clark

Helen Clark is an administrator of the U.N. Development Program. Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, she became the first woman administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in 2009.

Clarks’s work in the organization includes chairing a committee comprising the heads of all UN funds, programs, and departments working on development issues.

As prime minister, she invested heavily in education and public health, with particular concern for families and the elderly.

Clark is best known as an advocate for women’s issues and protecting the environment. She served on the Council of Women World Leaders, whose mission was to take action on issues critical to women and equitable development.

Forbes has called Clark one of the most powerful women in the world three times in the past several years, and most recently (2014) she ranked No. 23.

Her work on sustainability issues and climate change was recognized in 2008 when she was honored with the United Nations Environment Programme Champions of the Earth award.

Margaret Chan

Margaret Chan is Director General of the World Health Organization. She is the Director General of the World Health Organization. Chan was elected in 2006 and again in 2012, and will remain in the position until 2017.

She first gained recognition for her management of the avian influenza and SARS outbreaks in Hong Kong during her tenure as Director of Health for the city.

As Director General, Chan’s responsibilities include declaring global pandemics and deciding how WHO can best put its resources to good use.

She is dedicated to the creation of healthcare infrastructure in underprivileged countries, and to improving the health situations of women and Africans in particular.

Colleagues respect Chan’s dynamic leadership and excellent media presence. In addition to her status as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, Forbes ranked her as the 30th most powerful woman in the world in 2014.

Maureen Bisognano

Maureen Biognano is President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. She is a prominent healthcare authority who has worked for the betterment of public health for more than 40 years.

Biognano’s brother Johnny, who died from rapidly progressing Hodgkin’s disease, drove her to dedicate her life to benefit the lives of patients and work to improve community health.

She began her career as a staff nurse at Quincy Hospital in Massachusetts and was quickly promoted to Director of Nursing, Director of Patient Services, and then Chief Operating Officer at the same institution.

Currently, Biognana is President and Chief Executive Officer of the worldwide nonprofit, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

She is also an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and is on the board of several prominent organizations, such as the Commonwealth Fund and Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire.

Biognano is an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, advises healthcare leaders across the globe, and frequently speaks at major healthcare conferences advocating for change and quality improvement.

Mirta Roses Periago

Mirta Roses Periago is Special Envoy for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases. She was, until recently, the Director of the Pan American Health Association (PAHO) and Regional Director for the Americas of the World Health Organization.

Periago held both offices from 2003 to 2013, and was the first woman to hold either position. As Director of PAHO, she focused on achieving the Millennium Development Goals set by the UN, as well as encouraging the incorporation of technology into the healthcare systems of the American countries.

She is now serving as a Special Envoy for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, a program of the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington D.C.

Periago has worked with rural communities in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina to treat the widespread Chagas disease, and believes that the elimination of neglected tropical diseases like Chagas is within reach. She has won orders from multiple countries and honorary professorships and doctorates from universities throughout the Americas for her work.

Rebecca Onie

Rebecca Onie is Co-founder and CEO of Health Leads. She is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Health Leads, previously known as Project HEALTH.

Health Leads is a company with a unique approach to healthcare in that it helps low-income patients mend the underlying causes of their illnesses. While interning at the Boston Medical Center during her undergraduate years, she realized that people living in poverty often get sick over and over again because their health problems are caused by substandard living conditions that doctors can’t fix.

She created Health Leads in 1996 to address these underlying socioeconomic causes. Health Leads is made up of student volunteer groups in cities across the country, which help patients fill doctors’ “prescriptions” for treatments like more nutritious food, more exercise, instead of traditional pharmaceuticals.

Onie has won recognition for her innovation from publications including Forbes and O! Magazine, and received a MacArthur Genius Fellowship in 2009.

These women’s contribution to public health has been considerable. How will you do your thing in this field, and can we help you achieve your dreams?

I’ve mentioned before, public health admissions is based on fit. Test scores and grades are important, but so are effective writing skills, research interests, and future goals.

Where can you show off the last three?

Your Personal Statement

All Bloomberg School degree applicants are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application.

Departmental Master’s and Doctoral Applicants
If you’re applying to a departmental master’s or doctoral degree, upload your statement to the Bloomberg Application. The application will accept a number of file formats including .doc, .wpd, .pdf, and .txt.

There are no formal word-count or formatting requirements, but we encourage you to use a legible font (Arial, Helvetica, Times Roman, etc. at 11-12 pts) and double-space. Be concise – two to three pages (no more than three).


If you’re through SOPHAS, compose your statement in a text only processor (e.g. Notepad). When you have a final version, cut and paste your statement to SOPHAS. Additional instructions may be found within the application.

SOPHAS limits statements to 18,000 characters. We ask you to be more concise - two to three pages (no more than three).

What Should You Address?

Most of our departments do not conduct interviews, so your personal statement is your chance to tell your story.

Explain why the program you selected is a good fit and how the Bloomberg School will help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Don’t just list your experience and education – that’s what your resume and transcripts are for - but highlight those experiences (in the classroom and out) that made you passionate about public health.

Maybe most important: share your hopes and aspirations within the field. What are your goals? Where do you see this degree taking you?

Take your time, proof read and provide your reviewers an accurate picture of yourself and how you plan to Protect Health, Save Lives--Millions at a Time.

Keywords:2015-2016 cycle, application requirements, personal statement

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